The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) is the Comprehensive Training and Technical Assistance Provider to Judges on Domestic Violence (Judicial Training/TA Comprehensive Project). The goals of this project are to provide innovative educational programs for judicial officers, create broad multidisciplinary, multicultural forums to advance effective court and community approaches to domestic violence, and provide judicial officers with targeted technical assistance to enhance responses to domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking cases.
The mission of the Judicial Training/TA Comprehensive Project is to offer innovative educational programming and technical assistance through the creation of peer-to-peer learning opportunities for judicial officers engaged in efforts to improve responses to domestic violence, sexual violence, dating violence, and stalking cases.
The NCJFCJ provides educational opportunities for judges hearing domestic violence cases along a variety of axes, including child custody decision-making, protection orders, criminal sanctions and pleas, immigration, and child abuse and neglect.
Formed in 1998, the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence (NJIDV) is a dynamic partnership among the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women, Futures Without Violence, and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. The NJIDV has provided technical assistance and highly interactive, skills-based domestic violence workshops for judges and judicial officers nationwide since 1999. The NJIDV has developed a continuum of judicial education that currently includes the Enhancing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases (EJS) Workshop, Continuing Judicial Skills in Domestic Violence Cases (CJS) Program, Faculty Development, and Technical Assistance for state and regional adaptation and replication of the NJIDV programs. Judges return from these programs to their communities with a vastly greater understanding of domestic violence, elder abuse, sexual assault, and stalking, improved tools for handling the day-to-day legal issues, and a stronger sense of their courtroom and community roles to help end and prevent violence. Judges also learn how to support victims’ efforts to achieve safety, obtain support, and realize autonomy while holding batterers accountable for their conduct and offering them opportunities to change battering behavior. The NJIDV also connects with other judicial education programs developed by the NCJFCJ and Futures Without Violence to offer additional specialized programs (such as on Abuse in Later Life and Teen Dating Violence) to judicial officers nationwide.
The NCJFCJ offers tailored technical assistance to judges and court-related professionals seeking presentation assistance, workshop design, research and resources, consultation, and peer-to-peer connections. The NCJFCJ assists judges and court-related professionals with developing presentations on child-custody decision-making in domestic violence cases, victim and perpetrator behaviors, protection order practices, including the seizure and storage of firearms and full faith and credit, the overlap of domestic violence and child maltreatment, abuse in later life, immigration issues, working with self-represented litigants, judicial leadership, and a host of other issues related to hearing domestic violence cases and tailoring these presentations and accompanying materials to their state, Tribal, or local jurisdictions.
The NCJFCJ will also conduct research for judges and court-related professionals on case law, statutes, social science, and model practices; provide individualized consultation and on-site technical assistance to judges and court-related professionals seeking to change domestic violence practice in their courts and communities; and facilitate peer-to-peer conversations and opportunities to share emerging court and community practices, troubleshoot challenging court and community practices or policies in domestic violence cases, and deal with emergency situations, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCJFCJ also maintains a website with toolkits, bench books and cards, policy manuals, and other publications for judges and court-related professionals hearing domestic violence cases.
Helpful Information and Updates
The NCJFCJ’s Break from the Bench: A Lunch and Learn Series are discussions on a wide range of topics focused on what a judge needs to know about domestic violence. Our expert faculty will provide information for judges and courts on strategies for improving responses to intimate partner violence.
Break from the Bench: What a judge needs to know about… Recognizing Context and Coercive Controlling Abuse in Intimate Partner Violence
Break from the Bench: What a judge needs to know about… Considerations When Ordering Supervised Visitation in Domestic Violence Cases
Case Law Updates
This document contains summaries of published state court decisions of interest related to civil protection orders, their issuance, and their enforcement for the year 2019. While most of these summaries are brief, containing only the courts holding and any necessary background or procedural details, a few have been expanded based on their complexity, their uniqueness, or the importance of their holding.
Recently, the United States Supreme Court, in McGirt v. Oklahoma, recognized the continued existence of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s reservation, and as a consequence, that tribal and federal courts have primary jurisdiction to prosecute citizens of tribal nations for crimes committed within that reservation. This publication examines that decision, and its potential impacts to domestic violence victims and states and tribal courts in their efforts to address domestic violence. It also looks at the impact that McGirt has had on the Muscogee (Creek) Nation’s courts.
The Ready Resource: Providing Up-To-Date Trainings and Resources for Judicial Officers
The Ready Resource provides relevant information about current events, new and helpful resources, and upcoming training dates for judicial officers related to improving responses to intimate partner violence. The most recent edition includes information on what the NCJFCJ can provide to judicial officers through customized training and resources, information about the National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence, and upcoming webinar opportunities.
Current Issue: November 2020
NCJFCJ Project Resources
- Civil Protection Orders
- Family Court Enhancement Project
- Judicial Engagement Network
- National Judicial Institute on Domestic Violence